New objective measurements of semen wave motion are associated with fertility in sheep

Abstract : In sheep, wave motion in semen is currently used by AI centres to select ejaculates for insemination. Despite its low cost, convenience and established ability to predict fertility, the subjectivity of this assessment is a limiting factor for its applicability. The aims of the present study were to establish an objective method for the analysis of wave motion and to assess the associations of objective parameters with fertility after cervical insemination. Collective sperm motion in undiluted semen was observed by phase contrast microscopy at low magnification in a 100-µm deep glass chamber. Images of moving dark waves over a grey background were recorded and analysed by the optic flow method, producing several velocity-related parameters. Turbulence was assessed from the motion of fluorescent polystyrene beads. Among objective parameters, optical flow entropy and the average speed of beads were both able to discriminate ejaculates suitable for insemination. Two synthetic variables of optic flow and bead motion and a global objective variable were computed from linear combinations of individual parameters and compared with the subjective motion score for their predictive value. These were as efficient as the wave motion score for assessing fertility and can be proposed for the assessment of ram semen in routine AI procedures.
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Ingrid David, Philippa L. Kohnke, Jérôme Fehrenbach, Ana Rita Lopes Simoes, Eric Debreuve, et al.. New objective measurements of semen wave motion are associated with fertility in sheep. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, CSIRO Publishing, 2018, 30 (6), pp.889-896. ⟨10.1071/RD17472⟩. ⟨hal-01808988⟩

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